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Thomas Cook to cut costs by focusing efforts online

Thomas Cook to cut costs by focusing efforts online

Thomas Cook has confirmed it will cut further costs of £50 million and raise up to £150 million through the disposal of non core businesses as part of a wide-ranging strategy to return the tour operator to health.

It comes as the tour operator outlines plans to focus its resources on online sales as it seeks to return to profitability.

New chief executive, Harriet Green, is targeting sales growth of at least 3.5 per cent a year by 2015 as part of the turnaround, which will see the holiday giant adopt a “high tech, high touch” approach.

“Building on its trusted brand and 171 year heritage Thomas Cook will deliver personalised holiday experiences through a high-tech, high-touch approach,” explained a statement.

Green added: “Our Business Transformation plans are ahead of schedule and already delivering substantially
improved performance, which resulted in our recent return to the FTSE 250.

“We have exceeded our initial commitments and today announced a further £50 million of cost out actions, bringing the total profit improvement actions identified already to £350 million, £290 million of which is still to come stabilising the business has been our priority through addressing our cost and cash challenges, and strengthening the leadership team to create a more effective, aligned organisation focused on rigorous execution.”

Thomas Cook did not provide any further detail on disposals but analysts have mooted brands such as Luxury travel agent Elegant Resorts, long-haul specialist Gold Medal and Neilson as possible candidates for sale.

The new strategy would be one of simplification, focused on delivering trusted, personalised holiday experiences delivered through a high-tech, high-touch approach, Thomas Cook said.

This has been based on extensive research and analysis including a comprehensive, in-depth survey measuring the attitudes and changing needs of almost 18,000 travellers, validated against the experiences of many of Thomas Cook’s own customers. 

Green continued: “We are excited to now reveal our new strategy based on four cornerstone principles; delighting customers with trusted, personalised holiday experiences through a high tech, high touch approach.

“Based on comprehensive consumer research we aspire to occupy a unique position in the market through our new strategy, deliver industry leading margins and customer loyalty, whilst maintaining consistent quality that can be trusted.

“We will expand our already successful hotel concepts; and build a new portfolio of flexible, trusted products and services; creating a single gateway for customers to access personalised recommendations, specifically tailored to meet their needs.”